Boy credited with foiling coast-to-coast bandits

July 29, 2011 2:33:13 PM PDT
An 11-year-old boy is being hailed a hero for taking down an alleged coast-to-coast crime quartet before the group could rob a 93-year-old woman.

Identifying the alleged scam artists is a little complicated.

"They have about 5 or 10 different aliases each - dates of birth, different social security numbers, and they're wanted in 2 or 3 states," Det. Bill Hamilton of Wharton police said.

Police say the four stopped their car on Orange Street Wednesday afternoon, lifted the hood like they had car trouble and approached a 93 year old woman in her yard for help.

"The two females approach the woman, say their car is broken could they have some water. While the two females distracted the woman, the two men went in, got a sack and stole jewelry," Hamilton explained.

But a sharp-eyed kid saw it all going down and he told his grandfather, who called police.

"Another neighbor yells, 'He's going thru the back window.' He saw police, and went back in the house," Hamilton said.

Officers caught that man with $15,000 to $20,000 of the victim's jewelry in his pockets, according to police.

"It used to be quiet. Now, we have all kinds of people walking the street," resident Reuben Jimenez said.

Another resident says the crime has seriously scared her young daughter.

"She doesn't like to sleep in her own bed. I have 2 dogs. I tell her she's safe," Paula Stoback said.

Locals are telling police they've seen these folks before in seasons.

Police say it was a coast- to-coast operation to California, Colorado and back to Jersey.

In tiny little Wharton, their luck ran out because a kid was watching out for his neighbor.